After a bit of a lull to get over my domain and blog name change, I have the pleasure of welcoming Keri from Ladies What Travel to the Best and Worst Holidays Series. In this blog series we hear from my fellow bloggers about some of their great holidays and some of their worst disasters.
My best and worst holidays – Keri from Ladies What Travel
It’s so hard to pick a best holiday – so many of my trips have been amazing, but I guess one that has to stand out is the first time I visited Japan.
This was actually a work trip to Tokyo believe it or not, but it involved three full days of immersing myself in the most amazing culture. Sure, I had to spend a bit of my time in a Japanese office interviewing video-game designers, but the rest of my time there was being treated to the full-on Japanese experience!
I’d always wanted to go to Tokyo and loved the Japanese culture – from Manga and Japanese horror movies to Harajuku fashion and sushi, so I was in my element the entire trip. During the days I explored the craziness of Takeshita Street and went shopping in the geek heaven of Akihabara. Then in the evenings I visited the Tokyo tower, had dinner in Gonpachi – also known as the ‘Kill Bill’ restaurant for inspiring one of the most iconic settings from the film, – and visited two of the most famous spots from the movie Lost in Translation: the Park Hyatt Tokyo and that karaoke bar.
Japan is so out there, it’s one of the most alien countries for a Brit to visit as the language barrier is immense, and the culture so different. But that’s what makes it so amazing, and why I consider this one of my most memorable ‘best’ holidays!
On the flipside, it’s very easy for me to pick my worst holiday – Cairo 2009. This was before the Arab Spring uprising, so a lot will have changed since then I’m sure, but my one experience of Egypt put me off possibly ever returning.
Firstly, my boyfriend persuaded me to ‘slum it’ and booked us into a hostel to save costs. I’m a bit of a diva, so agreed only if we have a private room with its own bathroom, but this turned out not to be enough. The hostel was at the top of a dodgy looking tower block. I was unsure whether the bedding was clean and, well, the shower was a boiler attached to the wall with duct tape, and went from hot to cold every 5 seconds.
Then, as a blue eyed, pale skinned women I felt uncomfortable most of the time. Even though I kept covered up and was respectful of their culture and religion, men would oogle me as I walked down the street (with my boyfriend!) even whistling and making hissing noises. I found the street sellers and taxi drivers very pushy, and always felt like I was trying to be over charged.
At the pyramids, my partner was tricked into getting onto a camel (“no charge, no charge!” they said) and separated from me by force until he paid the men some money. At this point I was terrified and had had enough – to the point we actually bought flights home for the following day. I was done.
The whole experience made me so sad as I had been so excited to visit Cairo and as a lover of history could not wait to see the pyramids. Part of me really wants to brave returning in order to see the Valley of the Kings, but I think I need a few more years before I’ll feel up to it…
Thanks to Keri for sharing her two very contrasting holidays. I have to say Japan is some I would love to visit. And we went to Cairo in 2008 on a day-trip from Cyprus to see the pyramids and I’m glad it was just a day-trip. I didn’t like the look or feel of Cairo at all and won’t be returning in a hurry myself.
Keri heads up an all-female team of bloggers over at Ladies What Travel. Her mission is to help you make the most of your weekend and annual leave with our stories, reviews and travel tips on everything from weekend breaks to far-flung holidays. You can find the Ladies What Travel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and also Pinterest.